The Case For Dating in Law School: 5 Arguments of Advocacy

The Case For Dating in Law School - 5 Arguments of AdvocacyToday we welcome back Jaclyn Wishnia, rising 2L at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law to discuss why dating in law school might be a good idea.

There are plenty of articles circulating the Internet that advise against dating in law school. I can personally attest to the fact that the authors of these articles were all spurned by their lovers during particularly harrowing Barristers’ Ball events (Kidding! As far as I know…). While realistically I cannot confirm whether this statement holds some partial truths or not, I can endorse the authors who contradict this advice by providing you with some insight into why it might actually be a very reasonable decision.

1. Support

Just because you are in law school does not mean you automatically discard the cardinal rules of what it means to be in a relationship. Support is considered one of the basic tenets of any healthy commitment. Law school is a stressful stretch of time. If you enter into a relationship with someone who truly supports you, they not only can encourage you to overcome a bad grade or interview, but also can be your cheerleader when you make law review or achieve some other celebratory milestone. That goes both ways. Even if your partner receives a spot on moot court and you do not, they still deserve your support. In general, law school and the legal field are competitive by nature. A supportive partner doubles as an ally, which is a great person to have around to rely on, bounce ideas off of, teach each other portions of the law where one of you is stronger than the other, and hopefully, build confidence in each other in an environment where compliments are usually lacking.

2. Stress Reliever

This reason is a bit more obvious, but that does not make it any less true. Law students have to sacrifice many personal freedoms in lieu of deadlines and studying. If you really want to date one of your colleagues, you should not deprive yourself of doing so simply because you might break-up and have to face them in court at some hypothetical point in the future. In terms of dating, a colleague might actually be your best option for stress relief since they understand exactly what you are experiencing. Also, if you need a night off from them to study, you won’t have to lose an hour of your time explaining why a particular text takes so long to read and why it has to be done now. Need to study on the weekends? Chances are they do too, so working together on a Saturday night won’t blow up into a huge argument. Additionally, it gives you someone to look forward to running into at school (think back to your high school crush days). It is also easier to plan ahead for times when the two of you can take study breaks together, making the semester much more enjoyable.

3. Common Grounds

This ties in to some of the reasons discussed under stress relief. Having law school in common eliminates many of the obstacles that people face in relationships where one person is in law school and the other is not. Time is a huge factor for many law students. If your partner has never been to graduate school or held a grueling job, it might cause a lot of resentment when you begin to dismiss them obliviously for your new love, law textbooks. When you both are in law school, you understand what time means, approximately how long assignments can take, and what you are experiencing both mentally and physically. Also, while you may not elect to study the same type of law, there are enough commonalities the law shares that can contribute to: interesting conversations, sparking new legal ideas for papers or your legal career, speaking or thinking in legal terms only those trained understand, and generating familiar feelings over a topic you both enjoy, which may bring you closer to that person faster.

4. Challenge

As mentioned, the legal field is competitive by nature. If your relationship is a strong and happy one, then combining two ambitious, yet supportive, individuals can inspire both of you to push yourselves harder and achieve even bigger goals. Sharing similar career aspirations can ignite greater passions for things you both already believe in, making it easier to collaborate (future joint-practice perhaps?), or spouting off ideas for each other and swapping knowledge to succeed together within that field. Even if you do not share the same career aspirations, if you are both constantly rooting for each other to do your best, you may instinctively challenge yourself to reach further due to the extra encouragement and to impress your significant other.

5. Dealing With Failures and Successes

This reason is tricky because it is a double-edged sword. On one hand, being in a relationship while simultaneously navigating a stressful environment, will quickly reveal a person’s true colors. There are only so many stressors humans can balance before their act drops and their personality really shines through. For some, this could be a good thing because the relationship will feel more honest and you will be able to determine whether you want to be around someone who might not deal with failures and successes, yours or theirs, poorly. On the other hand, it is possible the person will never act this way again outside of law school, or maybe you prefer an individual who hides the uglier facets of their personality and you would rather not concern yourself with someone so open. Whether it weakens or strengthens your relationship, it is a good test for discovering what you want from a significant other in future relationships and what you are willing to overlook for a future partner.

On a final note, while the five points above create a strong argument for persuading someone to date you, make sure you enter into that relationship for the only reason that truly matters: you actually care about that person. Otherwise, you may find yourself entangled in one of our future posts’ primary reasons against dating in law school. Stay tuned.


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About Jaclyn Wishnia

Jaclyn Wishnia graduated from Fordham University with a double major in Journalism and the Classics. Upon graduation, she accepted a role as a paralegal. After several years of working for both criminal and entertainment law firms, she decided to pursue her passion, to become an attorney, and enrolled in law school. She is currently a 2L at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law located in New York, NY. Additionally, she serves as a staff editor for Cardozo's Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, Treasurer of Cardozo's Entertainment Law Society, and is a student liaison for the NYS Bar EASL committee.

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